ALA Midwinter 2013
Headshot of NISO Managing Director, Todd Carpenter

December 2012

It's hard to believe that 2012 is coming to a close. It has been packed with a tremendous number of successes and significant progress on a variety of fronts. Looking back over the calendar, it's surprising how much we've managed to pack into these short 12 months. NISO's ongoing work to develop standards and best practices has generated many important outcomes to serve the community. More than 3,500 people have participated in our training events throughout the year. More than 35 new libraries have joined our community as members. We look back with pride on our accomplishments over the past year.

Among the many projects that have come to a close in 2012, NISO published the ERM Data Standards and Best Practices whitepaper, and revisions to the RFID in U.S. Libraries (NISO RP-6-2012) and the Shared E-Resources Understanding (SERU, NISO RP-7-2012) recommended practices. New recommended practices on Physical Delivery of Library Resources (NISO RP-12-2012) and the COUNTER-SUSHI Implementation Profile (NISO RP-14-2012) are available, as well as a revision to the NCIP: NISO Circulation Interchange Protocol (ANSI/NISO Z39.83) standard. And two new standards, JATS: Journal Article Tag Suite (ANSI/NISO Z39.96) and the Authoring and Interchange Framework for Adaptive XML Publishing Specification (ANSI/NISO Z39.98) were both published.

In 2012, NISO also launched several new initiatives. These are projects to develop recommended practices for Demand-Driven Acquisition (DDA) of Monographs, formal standardization of the 3M Standard Interchange Protocol (SIP), and a revision of the NISO/ALPSP Journal Article Versions recommended practice. With the support of The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, NISO is launching a project on developing a roadmap for the future of standardized bibliographic information exchange.

In early 2013, NISO will be publishing two recommended practices that are in the final stages of completion: Presentation and Identification of E-Journals (PIE-J) and Supplemental Journal Article Materials, a joint project with NFAIS. We also have a very robust schedule of educational events planned for 2013.

I am pleased to introduce to the community two new members of the NISO staff this month. Kathy Cassell has joined NISO as our new Office Manager, responsible for the business operations of the organization, and Juliana Wood, NISO's new Educational Programs Manager, who will be focused on developing and promoting NISO's educational events. Both are wonderful new additions to our team and are both excited to serve our community. Many of you will have an opportunity to interact with them as we move into the coming year.

For all those who read Newsline, on behalf of the entire NISO community, I want to thank you for your interest in and support of our work. NISO is driven by the contributions of volunteers and implementers around the world. Very little would get accomplished at NISO without your contributions. We hope that this holiday season brings good cheer and health to you and your families. We also wish you all the best for a productive, peaceful, and successful new year.

Todd Carpenter’s Signature

Todd Carpenter

Managing Director

NISO Reports

December Webinar: Connecting the Dots: Constellations in the Linked Data Universe

The universe of linked data is rapidly expanding and our community is finding innovative ways to link and apply data. NISO's December 12 webinar Connecting the Dots: Constellations in the Linked Data Universe, to be held 1:00-2:30 p.m. EST, will cover several initiatives and projects using linked data to improve discovery and reuse of information.

Topics and speakers are:

  • OCLC Linked Data Initiatives and ActivitiesRichard Wallis, Technology Evangelist, OCLC

  • The Linked Data Catalog: Small Steps Toward a Web of Library DataTom Johnson, Digital Applications Librarian, Oregon State University

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on December 12, 2012 (the day of the webinar). Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free connection as part of membership and do not need to register. All webinar registrants and LSA webinar contacts receive access to the recorded version for one year.

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

January Webinar: Behave Like a Startup: Adapting Your Organization to Rapid Change

During a recent BookExpo meeting, a publishing company executive asserted, "Any company that isn't behaving like a start-up is doomed." What does this mean in the context of service organizations such as libraries, as well as businesses that serve the library industry such as publishers and vendors? How can large institutions be more nimble, act more quickly, adopt new tech more easily? What can be learned from startups and what can be avoided?

NISO's January 9 webinar Behave Like a Startup: Adapting Your Organization to Rapid Change—to be held 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST—will answer these questions and more.

Speakers and topics:

  • Thinking like a Startup, Behaving like an R&D Shop: Pathways to Innovation for LibrariesBrian Mathews, Associate Dean for Research and Learning, Virginia Tech University Libraries will focus on understanding the user experience as a way to develop more entrepreneurial libraries; he authors The Ubiquitous Librarian blog and tweets at @brianmathews.
  • Additional speaker TBA

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on January 9, 2013 (the day of the webinar). Discounts are available for NISO and NASIG members and students. NISO Library Standards Alliance (LSA) members receive one free connection as part of membership and do not need to register. All webinar registrants and LSA webinar contacts receive access to the recorded version for one year.

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

NISO/DCMI January Webinar: Translating the Library Catalog from MARC into Linked Data: An Update on the Bibliographic Framework Initiative

In May 2012, the Library of Congress announced a new modeling initiative focused on reflecting the MARC 21 library standard as a Linked Data model for the Web, with an initial model to be proposed by the consulting company Zepheira. The goal of the initiative is to translate the MARC 21 format to a Linked Data model while retaining the richness and benefits of existing data in the historical format.

In the joint NISO/DCMI webinar Translating the Library Catalog from MARC into Linked Data: An Update on the Bibliographic Framework Initiative, to be held on January 23 from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. EST, Eric Miller of Zepheira will report on progress towards this important goal, starting with an analysis of the translation problem and concluding with potential migration scenarios for a broad-based transition from MARC to a new bibliographic framework.

Miller is co-founder and president of Zepheira, which provides solutions for managing information across boundaries of person, group, and enterprise. Until 2007, Eric led the Semantic Web Initiative for the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) at MIT and was one of the key leaders in the development of the Resource Description Framework and other Semantic Web technologies.

Registration is per site (access for one computer) and closes at 12:00 pm Eastern on January 23 (the day of the webinar). Discounts are available for NISO and DCMI members and students. All webinar registrants receive access to the recorded version for one year.

Visit the event webpage to register and for more information.

Subscription Packages for 2013 Webinars

NISO is offering several subscription packages for the 2013 NISO webinars that will provide substantial discounts for attending multiple events. The available packages are:

  • Buy 8 and Get 5 Free. Get all 13 NISO 2013 webinars at a 38% discount.
  • Buy 4 and Get 3 Free. You pick which seven NISO webinars you want.

NISO and NASIG members and students receive a discounted subscription rate. For more information and a link to register online, visit the 2013 NISO webinars webpage.

NISO Library Standards Alliance members get one free connection to all 13 NISO webinars as part of their membership. Visit the NISO members webpage to see if your library is already a member. For information on joining, contact the NISO office at

There is also a subscription package available for the 2013 NISO/DCMI webinars:

  • Buy 4, Get 2 Free. Get all 6 NISO/DCMI 2013 webinars for 1/3 off the full price.

NISO and DCMI members and students receive a discounted subscription rate to the joint webinars. For more information and a link to register online, visit the 2013 NISO/DCMI webinars webpage.

For information on all 2013 NISO education events, visit the 2013 NISO event webpage.

Note: Joint NISO/DCMI webinars are not included with LSA membership, so interested LSA members will need to register for these.

New Specs & Standards

National Digital Stewardship Alliance, Levels of Digital Preservation, Release Candidate One

The goal of this project has been to develop a tiered set of recommendations for prioritizing enhancements to digital preservation systems (defined broadly to include organizational and technical infrastructure).This document is intended as a basic tool for helping organizations manage and mitigate digital preservation risks. These levels can be applied to collection(s) or system(s) but are designed to be content and system agnostic. Level 1 (Protect Your Data) addresses the most likely risks in the short term. As you progress through the levels they address mitigation of risks over the long-term: Level Two, Know Your Data; Level Three, Monitor Your Data; Level Four, Repair Your Data.

SOASIS, searchRetrieve V1.0, 60-day Public Review

searchRetrieve Version 1.0 is a multi-part specification that defines a generic protocol for the interaction required between a client and server for performing searches. The specification includes bindings for SRU1.2, SRU2.0 and OpenSearch. It specifies one query language, the Contextual Query Language (CQL). The specification also specifies a utility protocol, Scan, allowing a client to request a range of the available terms at a given point within a list of indexed terms, used to select terms for subsequent searching. The 60-day public review starts 15 November 2012 and ends 14 January 2013. Comments may be submitted to the TC through the use of the OASIS TC Comment Facility.

W3C, Eleven SPARQL 1.1 Specifications Published

The SPARQL Working Group has published a set of eleven documents, advancing most of SPARQL 1.1 to Proposed Recommendation. Building on the success of SPARQL 1.0, SPARQL 1.1 is a full-featured standard system for working with RDF data, including a query/update language, two HTTP protocols (one full-featured, one using basic HTTP verbs), three result formats, and other features that allow SPARQL endpoints to be combined and work together. The Proposed Recommendations are: SPARQL 1.1 Overview, SPARQL 1.1 Query Language, SPARQL 1.1 Update, SPARQL 1.1 Query Results JSON Format, SPARQL 1.1 Query Results CSV and TSV Formats, SPARQL Query Results XML Format, SPARQL 1.1 Federated Query, and SPARQL 1.1 Service Description. The Candidate Recommendations are: SPARQL 1.1 Entailment Regimes, SPARQL 1.1 Protocol for RDF, and SPARQL 1.1 Graph Store HTTP Protocol.

Media Stories

Altmetrics – Replacing the Impact Factor Is Not the Only Point
The Scholarly Kitchen [blog], November 14, 2012; by Todd A Carpenter

The journal impact factor is not the only or even best measure of value. Impact factor is based on citations, which have been the main metric for more than 40 years. Alternative metrics are being developed to go beyond measuring just the container of scholarly information, i.e. the journal. Some of those who are behind the altmetrics are mainly interested in displacing the traditional journal impact factor. But there is a basic problem in averaging across the journal collection, which can miss the importance of a particular article, scholar, or research project. Additionally, many more methods of scholarly communication are becoming important—such as blogs, social media, multimedia, and repository content—which are not assessed well with traditional citation measures. Publishers have shown some resistance to article-level metrics, just as some did when the Project COUNTER statistics were first developed. However, more granular measures, such as the h-index and the Eigenfactor, are already gaining traction. COUNTER is leading an effort to develop the UsageFactor, Publisher and Institutional Repository Usage Statistics (PIRUS2). Other organizations are working on PageRank and Y-Factor measures. Infrastructure such as the ORCID system to create researcher IDs are just launching. Standardized metrics for usage of research datasets are just beginning to be discussed. Many issues still need to be resolved, though, including the calculation of a "use," willingness of organizations to make their data open, and a robust infrastructure. We are still in the early days of developing these alternative metrics and much consensus is needed on the surrounding issues before they can be successfully adopted.
(Link to Web Source)

Why Digital Media Require a Strategic Rethink
Harvard Business Review, October 2012; by Michael D. Smith and Rahul Telang

Producers of content typically release different formats at different times, for example a move is first released in the theaters in the US and Canada, then in other countries, then after several months through on-demand, and finally DVD. The goal is to maximize the sales in higher profit-margin formats before making lower-margin formats available. But research shows such a strategy is not effective for movies, books, TV, or music. Customers tend to have a preferred channel and customers who prefer digital, for example, are more likely to switch to a pirated digital version rather than switching to physical media. After several networks pulled their TV content from streaming options, piracy of their content increased while DVD sales did not. The same result was seen when one publisher discontinued Kindle versions, saw e-book sales drop significantly with no corresponding uptake of the hardback format. Pirated copies tend to abound when international releases are delayed. "[O]ur research suggests that once a pirated version is available, every week that international consumers have to wait before they can view the movie in a legal channel lowers eventual sales by 2%." Properly written and enforced antipiracy laws do, in fact, work. A strictly enforced law in France resulted in 17% less piracy and 20-25% increases in legal sales. The conclusion: "make content available physically and digitally all at once, and don't use timing tricks to try to move customers from one channel to another."
(Link to Web Source)

New Survey Supports That Ebook Borrowers Buy, Too
Digital Book World (dbw), November 15, 2012; by Jeremy Greenfield

The American Library Association and OverDrive's survey of 75,000 library users showed that patrons who borrow e-books also buy books at the rate of 3.2 books per month and over 40% of them stated their buying is increasing. A Pew Internet study earlier this year reported that 41% of e-book borrowers had purchased the last book they read. Yet some publishers are still resisting library e-book borrowing or charging libraries a significantly higher price. HarperCollins allows borrowing but limits the maximum number of loans. Penguin and Hachette, who are conducting an e-book lending pilot, could be examples of libraries coming around. ALA was very critical in a recent open letter to publishers of their unwillingness to allow libraries to license and lend e-books. At a meeting with the Association of American Publishers, ALA made it clear that "librarian patience...had run out." Additional survey findings cited at the end of the article included: "57% of patrons cited the public library as their primary source of book discovery; 35% purchased the print or ebook after borrowing that title; and OverDrive said that it is now in two-thirds of U.S. libraries and is able to service 87% of the U.S. population." (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: For more on both library and publisher perspectives on e-books, view the presentation slides from NISO's October two-day forum on The E-Book Renaissance Part II. ALA is a NISO voting member.

Open Access – What Do Authors Really Want?
The Scholarly Kitchen [blog], November 1, 2012; by Alice Meadows

Authors are increasingly publishing in open access (OA) journals—some340,000 articles in 2011. A recent survey of their journal authors by Wiley, at least a third of the over 10,000 respondents had published in OA at least once. Items limiting such publication included a lack of high-profile OA journals, funding issues, and quality concerns. Length of professional experience and country of origin were also impacts. OA is not a top 10 criterion for an author's determination of where to publish. Funding appears to be a significant barrier since many authors are not reimbursed for all of the OA publication fees, however, funder mandates in the coming years will likely change this. Publisher and society commitments to high quality and peer review processes in OA journals should attract more authors, in those disciplines where funding becomes available. But that may be an ongoing problem in some fields or some countries. (Link to Web Source)

NISO Note: John Wiley & Sons is a NISO voting member.

Future Internet Protocols
Internet Computing, November/December 2012, 16 ( 6), pp. 11-13; by Charles Petrie and Oliver Spatscheck

The protocols that underlie the workings of the Internet, such as TCP/IP, have been projected to be imminently ready to collapse for many years. Recent events, however, indicate that some serious challenges are here and some significant changes will be forthcoming in the traditional protocols. IPv6 has already been introduced because the available addresses under IPv4 were used up in 2011. The next stage of the Internet of Things is underway where anything with power (not just computers) can and will be connected to the Internet. This changes the kind of infrastructure protocols that will be needed, particularly for devices where actual use may be infrequent but accessibility must be constant. In this special issue of Internet Computing, various authors describe various issues and proposed solutions for the future of the Internet. Damien Saucez, et al., propose a Locator/Identifier Separation Protocol (LISP) to provide better scalability for future applications. Hosnieh Rafiee, et al., point out how upgraded protocols can introduce new problems or break solutions that were created for old ones. IPv6, for example, makes blacklisting for e-mail spam much less effective. Leng, et al., review some of the protocol alternatives and their pros and cons. The latter authors propose an evolutionary approach to changing the protocols, perhaps by tunneling new protocols over old ones. New protocols should not be developed for the worst-case scenario as some of the existing protocols were, but should focus on optimizing "for more common, good cases."
(Link to Web Source)